Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. At what time: When will we leave?
  • conj. At the time that: in the spring, when the snow melts.
  • conj. As soon as: I'll call you when I get there.
  • conj. Whenever: When the wind blows, all the doors rattle.
  • conj. During the time at which; while: when I was young, I was sick all the time.
  • conj. Whereas; although: She stopped short when she ought to have continued.
  • conj. Considering that; if: How can he get good grades when he won't study?
  • pro. What or which time: Since when has this been going on?
  • n. The time or date: Have they decided the where and when?

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Used to introduce questions about time.
  • adv. Used to introduce indirect questions about time.
  • conj. At what time.
  • conj. At such time as.
  • conj. As soon as.
  • conj. At a time in the past,
  • pro. What time; which time
  • n. The time.
  • interj. That's enough, a command to stop adding something, especially an ingredient of food or drink.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. At what time; -- used interrogatively.
  • adv. At what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; -- used relatively.
  • adv. While; whereas; although; -- used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition.
  • adv. Which time; then; -- used elliptically as a noun.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • At what time? at which time?
  • At the or any time that; at or just after the moment that; as soon as.
  • At which time.
  • At the same time that; whereas; while on the contrary: used adversatively, to denote contrast or incompatibility.
  • When is often used as a quasi-pronoun, meaning ‘which time,’ introducing a dependent clause after since, till, or similar connective denoting time.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English hwenne.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English when(ne), whan(ne), from Old English hwenne, hwænne, hwonne ("when"), from Proto-Germanic *hwannē (“at what time, when”), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷo-, *kʷi- (“interrogative base”). Cognate with Dutch wanneer ("when") and wen ("when, if"), German wann ("when") and wenn ("when, if"), Gothic 𐍈𐌰𐌽 (ƕan, "when, how"), Latin quandō ("when"). More at who. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At various times on this blog, I have mentioned how much trouble I have reading series..when there is a significant gap between when I read each book.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • When i was playing the part of stay at home mom...from when emily was born, to when josh was born 20 months later, until he was almost 2..when i went back to work...i spent A LOT of time being angry and jealous.

    The Other Side Of Anger

  • Just when I was convinced there were no parents out there who were intellectually qualified to reproduce…..and yet…..when I read some of the responses from people who have COMPLETELY missed your point…..

    Because CNN Asked « Whatever

  • It begins when Socrates replies by under-quoting Homer: “We'll take counsel about what to say ˜when two go together along the way™” (174d2-3).

    Plato on Friendship and Eros

  • The action of the working classes in this direction will be even more successful when public opinion is influenced to a greater degree than at present, and _when the workingmen's parties in different lands are directed and instructed by the

    Socialism As It Is A Survey of The World-Wide Revolutionary Movement

  • The Subject Accusative of the Infinitive is sometimes omitted when it refers to the same person as the subject of the leading verb, or can easily be supplied from the context; as, -- cum id nescīre Māgō dīceret, _when Mago said he did not know this_ (for sē nescīre).

    New Latin Grammar

  • Indicative; as, -- tum tua rēs agitur, pariēs cum proximus ārdet, _your own interests are at stake when your neighbor's house is burning_; cum vidēbis, tum sciēs, _when you see, then you will know.

    New Latin Grammar

  • Thus: -- scrībam epistulam, cum redieris, _I will write the letter when you have returned_ (lit. _when you shall have returned_).a. The Latin is much more exact in the use of the Future Perfect than the

    New Latin Grammar

  • For us, her freedom meant our freedom, the right to send her away when we chose; but our love knew no such _when_ in all the shameful possibilities of time, nor anything in all the cruel conspiracies of ingratitude so wrong as that right.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866

  • Sir Thomas Browne. (1605–1682) (continued) 2430Times before you, when even living men were antiquities, —when the living might exceed the dead, and to depart this world could not be properly said to go unto the greater number.

    Quotations

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.